We were so honored yesterday at Central to host the 30th annual Rose Memorial Service for BSA Home Care and Hospice. The worship service and ceremony intends to remember loved ones who have died in the past year and to remind those who are grieving that we still remember, too, and mourn with them even today.

Yesterday was only the second time for our church familly to host this powerfully moving event — the only other time was in October 1996. And I’m proud to say that our volunteers here mobilized and organized to give everyone in attendance a marvelous experience. Kevin Schaffer led the congregational singing and performed a majestic solo rendition of The Lord’s Prayer. Our women’s ministry set up the tables and chairs and cooked and served all the food. Our decorators and ushers and sound booth guys made certain that everything was in the right place at the right time. And I think I probably stayed within five or six minutes of Davlyn’s mandated seven minute limit on the homily.

The service and ceremony were absolutely beautiful. Candles were lit for the family members and friends who have passed away. Their memories were celebrated and ┬ápreserved. God was praised. Tears were shed and hugs were shared as families reconnected with the nurses who had provided such tender care during such trying times. Encouraging words from our Savior were read and affirmed. Pricilla Miller blessed everybody in the room as she “sang” in sign language the compelling “I Will Rise.”

What a wonderful opportunity for all of us here at Central to join our community in grieving. What a chance for us to be truly incarnational, to really reflect the glory of our Lord in mourning with others, in being one with others in their distress. As we provided voice for the songs and shoulders to cry on, the Spirit of God used our church family yesterday to support and encourage the people of Amarillo. To inspire.

One woman told me the service was beautiful, and then added, “And that’s coming from a Presbyterian!” Another woman said, “The Church of Christ came through for us today!” I say we should give God the glory. Our people are to be thanked for jumping at the chance to serve. But our God is to be eternally praised for the glorious blessings we all shared together.